5 Ways to avoid dinner duty (with a bonus 6th tip!)

In collaboration with EatNow

It may sound rather melodramatic but I’d rather do anything else than decide on a meal and cook it every night – I really would. I honestly can’t think of many things more calculated to put me in a foul mood than the daily chore of having to think about what to feed a family with very different tastes as well as dietary requirements.

Don’t get me started on the process of then actually procuring the items needed for the two or three meals that I need to cook for said family. Not to mention the effort of cooking multiple meals and then having to sit through the critiques from the experts in the family. No wonder I’d honestly consider doing anything else to get out of dinner duty…

Which is why I have developed these 5 ways to avoid dinner duty. These strategies have been collected through a lifetime of learning and are guaranteed to get you out of regular cooking duty!

5 ways to avoid dinner duty

  1. Outsource (otherwise known as ensure you live with someone else who can cook). This is a very obvious strategy but often easily overlooked. I was lucky enough to marry a man who is a natural in the kitchen – someone who can whip up anything from any old ingredients. And he even likes cooking too (seriously – weird, I know). My tip – when you find one of these people – DO NOT LET THEM GO!
  2. Martyrdom (otherwise known as always undertaking the clean up). I have fallen into the routine where I will always clean up the kitchen and fill the dishwasher each night which is a good way to get out of cooking. I would honestly rather slave away with a sink-load of dishes than have to come up with an idea for dinner, plus having to cook it, every single night.
  3. Roleplay (otherwise known as emphasising your incompetence). I believe our respective natural roles in the kitchen are reinforced on those nights I do have to take the lead in the kitchen. My husband is forcibly reminded of my lack of skills which just gives him more reason to take back the reins as soon as possible! Fake it until you make it, my friends…
  4. Memory fail (otherwise known as forgetting to defrost the meat). There’s nothing worse than forgetting to get the meat out of the freezer for dinner. Or, getting it out but forgetting about it so it becomes a little too thawed. Oops. In these cases, don’t despair you can then make the mutual decision to go out for dinner or order takeaway online.
  5. Distraction (otherwise known as an unfortunate ‘accident’). There has been the odd occasion where I have started dinner only to drop something fragile and have it shatter all over the floor. After the necessary clean up operation, natural order is usually restored and my husband gets on with making dinner while I ‘supervise.’ Trust me, it works!

And I did promise a bonus 6th tip, didn’t I?

  1. Come clean (otherwise known as owning up to not wanting to do dinner duty). Don’t even pretend to care about cooking. Instead order pick up or delivery online via EatNow. Having recently tried out their online food ordering service after a particularly trying day, I can totally recommend this as a very real alternative to your dinner duty blues. It might also save your glassware collection AND your beautifully manicured hands (see tips 5 & 2 above).

Giveaway (NOW CLOSED)

EatNow have generously agreed to provide a My Home Truths reader with a $50 voucher so you too can avoid dinner duty! All you need to do is share your best tip for getting out of making dinner.

The best tip (judged on creativity and originality of idea) will be judged the winner. Competition is a game of skill and is only open to Australia residents. Competition ends 6pm AEST Monday 16 March. Winner will be notified by email and here on the blog.

Now you know my secrets, hit me with yours. What lengths would you go to in order to get out of dinner duty?  

Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation for this post however all opinions are honest and completely my own. Especially the tips for avoiding making dinner. I hate cooking with a passion!

Sharing my secrets with Jess as part of #IBOT.

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44 Responses

  1. My husband is a MASTER at number 4!
    My best get out of dinner tip is breastfeeding. Oh sorry, she wants a milky- can’t possibly cook at the same time (I can and have when it suits me) and this is another reason to keep feeding into toddlerhood if you can! Can’t cook- breastfeeding. Can’t clean up- breastfeeding. Can’t fold laundry- breastfeeding! The list goes on!
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted..Mummy Makeovers…By Medicare

  2. Tegan says:

    Oh gosh, it’s hard enough dealing with one critic in the kitchen. Although last week I cooked roast beef in the slow cooker and Paul said it was too tender. He’s lucky it was tender or I would have hit him over the head with it!
    Tegan recently posted..When the village gets it wrong

  3. After two decades of cooking for dinner for seven people every night I have retired. I cook one meal of spaghetti a week and that’s it. I buy “idiot proof food” they can cook themselves.
    Pinky Poinker recently posted..Can you Sing?

  4. Have your partner vow to cook, clean and slave after you. It’s been working for me for almost 20 years. Although when we drafted our wedding vows, I didn’t take into consideration, just how much training would be involved and the fact that he heads to sea for long stints.

    With hubby heading to sea for a month this week, I could really do with all the help in the kitchen I can get.

    Now apologies for missing I must confess, I believe it’s my first one in a long time. I’m still awaiting biopsy results and not online much at the moment. Will be catching up next week.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..Worth Casing Blog Award Winner | Nerdy Dirty Flirty 30

  5. Ness says:

    My devious plot to get out of dinner duty is claiming that I suffer from a severe case of Mageirocophobia. It’s just a total coincidence that it only comes on during the late afternoon to early evening period. It really is. Ahem. Eat Now sounds magical. It’s almost like there really IS a Dinner Fairy!

  6. Nicole kent says:

    Scatter the dishes and washing everywhere
    Get out the toys and mess up my hair
    Call the hubby and complain about my day
    And then get him to suggest we have takeaway!!!!!

  7. Linda says:

    My 6 yr old son has faked his own death to avoid eating his dinner. It comes on suddenly usually when his food is put in front of him, one look at it , informs us he is dying (very considerate) and face planks his meal.
    Now if this works for him!!! In theory it should work for me.. I could always “rise” later (have you seen “Resurrection”) roughly after dishes done..but before leftovers are gone.

  8. My husband kicked me out of the kitchen long ago, claiming I was too messy. I may or may not have also served up a couple of meals that tasted like dishwater. Now he cooks for me every night. And he cleans the kitchen afterwards!! I’m happy to play the role of the messy wife who can’t cook if it gets me served up delicious curries every night!!!
    Laney @ thelaneyfiles recently posted..A Magic Moment

  9. I’m lucky that my hubby can cook but he is rarely home in time to do the cooking. The best I can offer is to feign sickness – no one wants germs in their food!
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages recently posted..Comment on 10 Tips for Inspiration by Sophia

  10. karina l says:

    Start coughing and sniffing. No one will want you near the kitchen.

  11. Diana O says:

    Pretend that the crucial main ingredient has either gone off (blame the supermarket for selling inferior produce!!) and it was too late to go down to the shops and pick up a new one by the time you realised 🙂

  12. Di. says:

    Diarrhea works a treat, so easy to fake you’ve had it and even still got it as he trots off to pick up something yummy and unmade by you!

  13. Ha ha! You crack me up Kirsty. I actually don’t mind doing dinner. Some nights I’m over it, but I would rather cook than do the dishes!!
    EssentiallyJess recently posted..The Girl in the Chair, With the Unkempt Hair #IBOT

  14. I actually don’t mind cooking, but if I just could’t be bothered I opt for number 4!
    Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer) recently posted..Have you ever written a letter to yourself?

  15. JM Peace says:

    I have attempted to create my own cooks. My children are slowly getting old enough to pull their own weight in the kitchen and after choosing a husband who can not cook, I will without question, make sure my children can.
    JM Peace recently posted..Pointless Punishments

  16. sonya says:

    I’m pathetic, I know, but I have a couple of serious physical ailments that come and go, and what do you know, they often come right at dinner time! So often home delivery is the go… ooh,what a shame!

  17. Nic says:

    I once signed up to be a school rep for my daughter’s class just so I’d get a couple of nights off from cooking every week!

  18. Caz Filmer says:

    Oh you are too funny! My cooking motivation comes and goes but with a hubster who couldn’t cook to save his life (unless it’s a BBQ) I don’t get much respite. I used to dream of being one of those mums who cooked all the time with her kids. And then I started doing it. Again and Again and Again. It nearly drove me bonkers. But now I am reaping some reward. Miss ten can make tea!!! So my tip – push through and train your kids.
    Caz Filmer recently posted..Tefal Cuisine Companion. {The Event and the Cooking.}

  19. I know what you mean – I am so over having to think what to have for dinner each night. My best strategy is to announce it’s a DIY night – as in get your own dinner; each family member has to fend for themselves. Some will have pot noodles; some will have toast; others will have cereal. Whatever. NOT MY PROBLEM!!! 😉
    Janet @ Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Roast Celery

  20. Yes!! I often do the memory fail one… but for real! I always forget to defrost the meat lol!
    Lucy @ Bake Play Smile recently posted..Malteser Bunny Chocolate Cupcakes

  21. Sarah Fleming says:

    Oh boy, do I hear you on your disdain for the whole cooking dinner thing. I have insanely fussy children and it all just seems so very pointless and like way too much work at times.

    I had a good chuckle reading through your strategies above. My suggestion would come under the category of ‘technical difficulties’. Now, this is very cheeky….um, sneak outside and flick the power off! Uh oh, blackout…we will HAVE to have takeaway 😉

  22. Mumma McD says:

    I have, on more than one occasion, pretended that the meat/chicken/fish I had planned to cook smelled “a bit funny – not worth the risk”, to get out of dinner duty.

    My husband doesn’t cook AT ALL so if I don’t cook then it’s home delivery for us 🙂
    Mumma McD recently posted..Threats, lies and bribery: parenting a threenager

  23. Emily says:

    Take chicken from freezer or fridge. Place in a warm, sunny spot all day to ‘defrost’. Take chicken into kitchen to ‘prepare’ dinner. Lament loudly that the chicken appears to have gone off and there is nothing else to make. Suggest the ‘just popped into your head’ idea of ordering in. Mentally high-five self.
    Emily recently posted..I Got This Hat – Jol and Kate Temple and Jon Foye (book review)

  24. I’m all for ordering take-away! Unfortunately Trent hates cooking and pretty much only cooks bbq meat so if I want to eat real food I have to cook.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..10 non chocolate (and dairy free) easter gift ideas for kids

  25. Tanya Clarke says:

    Since there is no one else in my house that will cook, my son and I go out for dinner when we want some time out of the kitchen.

  26. Julia Mason says:

    I would have to go with the unique Memory Loss Method, this is a proven winner when it comes to getting out of cooking dinner, cause I forget to defrost the meat, and I calmly take a seat and drop the words Chinese Takeaway! Yum!! Kids come running(and Husband the big kid) Plus the plastic containers they come in means no washing up!

  27. Grace says:

    Some nights I’m a total chef in the kitchen, the other nights? I completely come clean or should I say…go on strike 🙂
    Grace recently posted..FYBF – The crazy ride with fear

  28. Elise says:

    The Leftover Dinner Dodge – On the occassions when I can’t use any of your methods because I’m parenting solo for the night, I double everything so at least next time it happens I can just reheat the leftovers! Spag Bol is every mothers best friend
    (eliseellabban@hotmail.com)

  29. Michelle Gray says:

    “I feel sick”, always ends with hubby organising take away, every time, haha 😉

  30. Jennifer B" says:

    I have been known to do laps of the block and blame a late night at work to offload the dinner duty onto the spouse…

  31. Aimee says:

    I volunteer to go get whatever we need, Only 15 rolls of TP left? I better go get some more! by the time i am back dinner is being served!

  32. Karly says:

    7. Celebration. Doesn’t need to be a major event….e.g. homeworks done and it’s only Tuesday! Let’s get pizza! That kind of thing.

  33. Deborah says:

    I have the advantage of being single so having no one to cook for. But of course the flipside of that is not every having anyone to cook for me either. Though I visit my mother enough to get some treats.
    Deborah recently posted..Favourite family meals

    • Kirsty says:

      Mums are the best! I’m looking forward to some home cooked meals when my Mum finally returns from her travels at the end of the year!!!

  34. Ness says:

    Ha ha I remember this. And I’ve definitely used these strategies including Eat Now or menulog. I’ve even logged on and ordered it myself. I hope my family appreciates the sacrifices I make for them.
    Ness recently posted..Favourite Family Meals

  35. Meals…are a nuisance aren’t they? I am mostly a cook for me now and I bulk cook then just defrost as I need it. Thanks for linking up Kirsty.

    • Kirsty says:

      I need to get a little more organised Denyse – plus convince Gilbert to eat outside of his set menu of nuggets, chips and pies….

  36. Ah yes, I am a master of most of these. I also have 3 take-away places that I deem ‘healthy’ so I can rotate them throughout the week. Not ideal, but hey, I get by and so does my partner (who is a good cook when he has the time!)

    • Kirsty says:

      You do what you have to do to get by, don’t you Linda? No-one needs even more stress in their lives – so if that works for you, run with it I say!!!

  37. Alicia says:

    I don’t actually mind the cooking bit, it’s the whinging and complaining about what’s on the plate that gives me the shits. Some nights I actually think just buying takeaway everynight would be easiest way to make everyone happy!

  38. It gets so much harder when everyone wants something different. I don’t mind cooking and eating whatever *I* want but yes, trying to please everyone is the pits!

    • Kirsty says:

      That’s why I’ve put a lot more work into encouraging my husband to take on the dinner duty – working like a charm right now!!!

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